Being in a long distance relationship requires creativity when it comes to spicing up your connection despite the distance; if you're not careful, it can bring your relationship to doom. The good news is that now we live in an era where we can easily arrange various online date ideas for long distance couples without any hassles.
I remember my first long distance relationship with my ex 15 years ago when he got an internship in Tokyo. Skype was pretty brand new, and you could only dream of things like Facetime or WhatsApp because we knew too well that as a student we couldn't afford international calls between Japan and Indonesia.
I thought it would be the end of my journey to embrace this thing called a long distance relationship. But the joke's on me, because here I am getting through the same thing just with a different person as I've become mature with age and experiences 15 years later.
Thankfully, we've got various tools and activities to support us to keep our relationship afloat this time. So, I'm going to share some online date ideas you can arrange with your loved one, especially if you have to struggle with long distance relationships right now!
The Benefits of Online Date Ideas When You're in a Long Distance Relationship
I met my boyfriend online through eHarmony, and that's probably the reason why we understand how important it is to arrange a special date or two despite the distance. Sure, the quality isn't on par with when we can share cocktails by the beach or go to the movies together, but it helps us foster our connection beyond just communication!
Planning special online date nights can keep your romance alive, and it can show your loved one that you actually make an effort despite the lack of touch and limitations in the distance. When you realize that your partner puts an effort to spice up your relationship, you'll appreciate them more and it can lead to deeper trust and appreciation toward them.
When you're in a long distance relationship, you know that communication is all you have. But sometimes, when you only focus on communication, your relationship can get a little bit boring. Coming up with some online date ideas can inject excitement into your relationship, making it more enjoyable and less monotonous than your typical routine as a long-distance couple!
9 Online Date Night Ideas for Long Distance Couples
So, while my first long distance relationship didn't succeed, I suppose I'm now better at it not only because I'm more mature but also because I can use so many tools to make it work. Not to mention that internet is super cheap now and accessible pretty much everywhere compared to how it was 15 years ago.
I remember back then my ex and I could only afford to send a 140-character SMS per week because sending an international SMS was bloody expensive. Right now, with things like Facebook, Whatsapp and Facetime… I could send messages however long I wanted, and it cost almost nothing!
Since I started dating my boyfriend last year, there are many variations of date ideas online that we've tried so far. Without further ado, here are the best things to do for long distance relationship date ideas!
1. Hop on a video call
When I met my boyfriend on eHarmony, our first online date night was through a video date feature on the platform. We met in the first few weeks after I signed up for a premium membership on eHarmony when I thought my chance was slim as I couldn't find any other members nearby.
Looking back, I thought the $100 I spent on eHarmony was pretty much the best investment I made so far. After a few weeks of messaging back and forth on the platform, we decided to get on a video date… Only for me to arrive late as I miscalculated the time difference. LOL.
You're lucky if you're in a long distance relationship after hitting it off in person, because it's a lot harder to build a relationship when you haven't met them in person. I know this too well as it also happened to us when we had our first video date.
Our first video date was practically only to make sure we could communicate as well as we did on the texts. As my boyfriend was really shy, I basically had to initiate the conversion almost 75% of our first call. As pretty much some guys I used to date, our first call was basically to ask each other the 36 questions that lead to love.
I found this set of questions really effective in connecting people. You don't even need an intention to date someone to throw those questions and see if they're the one for you, you can also throw the questions to get to know some strangers and see if you're vibing with their personality.
Now that we've been dating for almost two years, we usually schedule a video call at least once a week. We usually spend around 3 hours getting on a call and keeping each other updated about our lives, and sometimes we just do mundane stuff while having each other in the background.
There are times when we basically just do what we have to do without talking about anything in particular. Maybe I had to deal with some laundry or make dinner, or my boyfriend had to finish eating his ice cream… More often than not, it feels quite nice to know that we have each other's company, even on such a boring day!
2. Play an online game
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a gamer… My boyfriend is. He's the kind of person who would schedule a Dungeons & Dragons game with his friends once in a while, so I know that playing online games will be fun for him.
On the first few months after we started talking online, I installed Steam to explore some online games that we could play together on the date night. We played some stuff from The Game of Life to Monopoly, and I even tried to get to know the rules and games of the D&Ds for him.
Unfortunately, I got frustrated with Steam after a while and at some point the Indonesian government even banned the platform for no reason so we stopped playing online games there. However, since we use Messenger on Facebook as our main communication platform, we played some online games there instead.
I realized that familiarizing myself with new games isn't really my strong suit, but I'm happy to play the games that I'm already familiar with. So we usually choose some online games that we both already know, something like online chess or Scrabble.
While I don't condone gambling, for the sake of fun in your long distance relationship you can also impose some soft gambling rules in your online game. Whoever lost the game should deliver some food to the winner, or whichever rule you could agree on!
3. Go on an online “fine dining”
Whether you prefer fine dining or just ordering some junk food, scheduling an online picnic with snacks or food in front of you while telling each other stories can be a fun way to spend the night.
My boyfriend and I had this online date when celebrating New Year last year. We ordered McDonald's to get a sense of doing the same thing together despite the distance, and we actually dressed up for our video call although we did it from the comfort of our home.
Unlike our regular video call where I basically didn't even need to dress to impress, I put on some makeup for this special date while my boyfriend made some effort to wear his contact lenses. As Indonesia and the UK have a 7-hour time difference, we settled with celebrating New Year Indonesian time since I'd get too sleepy to wait for the UK. 😛
4. Plan out your next trip
The perks of being in a long distance relationship is that you'll always have a plan to travel somewhere in the future. And you can always start planning your trip as early as possible and arrange it on your date night.
Traveling with your partner can be tough without any preparation, so planning ahead can help you tremendously to adjust and compromise.
Before our date night, we usually do our research about places we want to go separately and put it on a Google sheet that we share so we can discuss the best way to create an itinerary that makes sense.
For example, while I'm not sure when I'll be able to start applying for a UK visa to visit him and his family, we already know what to include in our itinerary during my stay there. We include everything from Alton Towers to Whitby in Yorkshire.
Apart from the fact that it's always fun to plan out your next trip to stay excited for whatever comes in the future, it also gives us some positive thoughts and hopes that despite the fact how hard it is to live far away from each other and how tough long distance relationship can sometimes be, one day we'll reunite and maybe for good next time.
Plus, planning your travel together is really effective in testing how compatible you are as a partner. I mean, if you know a group project is often disappointing because one of your group members lets you down, you'll know when your partner has the potential to do the same when you plan a trip together… It's pretty much a make-or-break situation!
5. Install apps for long distance couples
You can find plenty of apps for long distance couples on both PlayStore and AppStore. My boyfriend and I have been using Tree of Memories, where every day it updates you with a new question to answer respectfully.
Stop with excuses that you don't know what to say, because this app will give you a topic to talk about every day. From childhood story to general topics like your favorite sport, it helps you bond with your partner even when you think you have nothing to say.
In addition, every day you can also get points in the form of water or wood logs that you can exchange for virtual lands or trees. You'll be surprised by how long you can nurture your virtual forest and your relationship with your partner… It will also count the days for you!
6. Get on a shopping spree for kinky items
While I know video sex chat is more than normal for long distance couples, I've never done it with my boyfriend for many reasons. First, both of us still live with our parents so the chance of our moms walking in during our video chat is never zero. LOL.
Other than that, we both believe that our monkey business will be more fun to be done in person than online. So, instead of doing risky online dating activities like doing it virtually, we spend our online date in a more creative and productive way: shopping kinky items for our next intimate sessions.
Our favorite e-commerce for this is Lovehoney because not only does it have various sex-related items from sex toys to some sexy lingerie, my boyfriend apparently is entitled to discounts there from his workplace. It's a win-win!
Since I'm also struggling to find the correct size of bra in Indonesia, Lovehoney also has some bra and underwear collections with various types and sizes so my boyfriend usually packs a few pair of new bra sets for me every time we meet.
7. Arrange your own book club
If you and your partner love reading, arranging your very own book club can also be an alternative idea for your online dating activity to spice up your long-distance relationship. My boyfriend and I just started our very own recently, where we read each other's favorite books and share our insights about them for our date night.
I started reading Terry Pratchett's Mort as it's my boyfriend's favorite book, meanwhile he started reading Delia Owen's Where The Crawdad Sings. It was really great to hear his perspective about something that I liked, although good for him since he's a librarian and it's pretty easy to find the book without having to purchase it.
You can also subscribe to Audible and maybe share an account together so you can listen to each other's favorite audiobooks. Alternatively, you can also pick a new book to read together. Whichever works better, reading will open up the world for you so why don't you do it together?!
8. Make a romantic digital journal together
As a long distance couple who wouldn't even get connected without internet, my boyfriend and I cherish our digital records through our love story in a way that we even managed to have some kind of our very own romantic journal.
We have a Google Drive folder that's filled with all the mementos ever since we started talking to each other. When we decided that we no longer needed eHarmony as we've found each other now, we've downloaded the archive of our messages on the platform so we'll never lose the first message we sent each other there.
Now that we started traveling together regularly as an effort to keep our relationship afloat, we have hundreds of photos we took together during our trip to Thailand and Turkiye recently and we also have the records of our accommodation booking and even the flight itineraries we took together as a couple.
Who knows? Maybe one day we could pass the folder to our kid and show them how our love story began!
9. Send a surprise gift every now and then
Once in a while, you can also send a surprise gift. You don't have to go overboard about the gifts, but something simple that reminds them that you love them will suffice. If you don't like surprise, you can even arrange something spontaneous like “I love you gift exchange” where you can exchange just because you love each other.
When everyone receives their gift, you can schedule a call so you can open your presents together. Maybe you can also add a card with a special message to see their reactions when they read it to enhance your experience.
One of my favorite websites to get my boyfriend a gift is Not on the High Street as they offer so many unique gifts for people of all ages. Plus, they're pretty affordable too!
The last time I got my boyfriend this Escape Room in an Envelope, as we initially planned to go to an escape room in my hometown when he came for a visit but apparently it was closed when we got there. In exchange, he got me a pair of cat panties that looked like my cat. Pretty cheeky. LOL.
If you want to send something more personal, you can also try to send each other's postcard with a personal message. If you want to go above and beyond, you can even try snail mailing and maybe send something small so the shipping cost won't be too expensive while you can send something with a personal touch to your partner!
Long distance relationship is hard, there's no question about it. However, you should be grateful that you're in it during this era when it's pretty easy to find online date ideas without spending a lot of money to keep your relationship afloat with your loved one.
While you'll get to brush up your communication skill to maintain your relationship with your partner, you can still have fun despite the long distance by arranging some special date nights to create a sense of normalcy as a couple.
If you're currently in a long distance relationship, which one of these online date ideas is your favorite? Or do you have any other activities you would recommend and add to the list? Share in the comment below, and cheerio!
Marya The BeauTraveler
I am the founder and main editor at The BeauTraveler. I spent 4 years working in the aviation industry but ironically got to travel more right after quitting the industry in 2015. Born and raised in Indonesia, I started working remotely in 2017, and while I stay at home most of the time, I also regularly spend 2-3 months living a semi-digital nomad life elsewhere every year.
This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.